happy new year!

The New Year, and debatably the next decade, has descended upon us. Happy New Year to anyone out there actually reading this other than me!

Resolutions

It’s a time of reflection and consideration of the year to come and perhaps embark upon new habits, processes, activities, whatnot.

I’ve got my own two resolutions which I embrace seemingly every year, and unfortunately fail miserably at keeping.

Those would be

  1. Using profanity and
  2. Talking to the other drivers in traffic.

Some years are better than others, but I don’t honestly remember ever making it past the March timeframe before the resolution went by the wayside. Perhaps if I report on my progress here, I can do a better job at them.

This year I’m adding another resolution to this list and it is to:

  1. Post to the blog on a weekly basis with imagery!

Photo Management

As you have probably noticed from the previous posts, I’m struggling a bit at developing an effective photo workflow since adopting Capture One as my development/processing tool.

My relationship with Capture One is most decidedly love/hate. I absolutely love how easy it is to get my images where I want them, definitely in comparison to LightRoom, of which I’ve used (or attempted to use) for some 5 years now.

LightRoom never, ever “spoke” to me in terms of image processing. I tried but could never get there from here. I bought Jeff Schewe’s “The Digital Print: Preparing Images in Lightroom and Photoshop for Printing” got about 50 pages into it before giving up. I watched all of Julianne Kost’s youtube presentations, but simply could not wrap my head around it. I could get a decent image out of LightRoom, but it took 20-30 minutes each. With sometimes 100’s of images to process this was a non-starter.

So, all I really used LightToom for was in organization, aka Digital Asset Management (DAM). That it excels in and it works for me. Lots of folks like to talk about the shortcoming of LR’s DAM, but for me, I’ve got it set up, and it works. Not the smoothest thing in the world, but it works.

Images are ingested via the import tool and get filed on my NAS box in a date driven folder scheme that I set up some time back. Once done, the folders get a quick rename adding a descriptor. I tag the images in the folder with a Caption similar to the folder descriptor and then use batch rename to rename the files with the date taken-caption with a sequence starting at 1. I renamed the raw files from the jpg’s separately using filters so that the filenames line up. That’s it. A typical day’s worth of captures will take me about 20 minutes to work through this process.

Capture One, on the other hand, blew my socks off the first time I used the Fujifilm Express Edition. This is a freebie that Phase One gives away in conjunction with Fuji. There is a similar product for Sony cameras as well.

While the Express Edition is fairly limited in what it can do, simply with the the Autocorrection tools and the correct camera profile, I found I was 90-95% percent of where I wanted to be with my imagery. Literally two clicks of the mouse.

I was so enamored that I opened up my tightly clasped wallet and actually paid for the Fuji Edition of Capture One during a sale that Phase One had earlier in the year. After watching just a couple of David Grovers tutorials it was instant nirvana. So much so, that shortly thereafter, I upgraded to the full version of Capture One so that the benefits could be applied to all my non-Fuji images.

The Express Edition only does catalogs, and that was where the initial weakness with Capture One began to bubble up. There are something in the neighborhood of 60,000 images in my collections and frankly this number of images brought the cataloging to its knees.

I was hopeful that upgrading to the full version of Capture One would resolve this, but there are no differences in catalog functionality between the two. Spelunking around the internet, I’m definitely not the only person to come to this conclusion.

In a previous post I discussed my methodology for managing the shortcomings. My family is in town for the holidays and we had several days of outing from which I collected a goodly number of images that I wanted to get in the catalog. The previously espoused workflow was conducted and when I went to import the sessions into my catalog, things all came to a screeching halt.

Importing even a small number of images in a session was taking hours. I mean hours. As there were numerous session to import this simply wasn’t going to fly. So, dropping back to old habits, I used my LR workflow to get my images ingested to my NAS box in my preferred format.

Then I opened up Capture One and told it to synchronize just the year, not the entire catalog. Some 24 hours later I killed the process as it was stopped and decided to file a support request with Phase One. My luck with support request to Phase One has not exactly been spectacular, but I figured I had to do something. They sent back a request for the photo logs and some machine specifications which I provided. A couple of days later an e-mail from them indicated that there was a new incremental revision of v12 that had fixed the problem.

Downloading it and trying again proved no different. I did a little playing around and the issue seems to be the functionality where it looks for duplicates. This was the problem. I provided the information and the response was, frankly, priceless.

“Well that process is indeed traffic-intensive. Is it possible to work without it?”

Wow. Just wow. To be honest the functionality is broken to start with as it doesn’t really search for duplicate images, it searches for files with duplicate names. As I rename my images this is fairly useless, unlike LR which will identify duplicate images.

I’ve been playing with some open source DAM tools, aka DarkTable and Digikam, but I think I’m going to stick with LightRoom for my DAM. It works, and I know it.

In terms of image management from Capture One, numerous recommendations were found to start a session in Capture One, but don’t import anything into it. Navigate to the folder with the images and Capture One will build previews in the folder itself. This works very well in practice and is how I will move forward.

Take care and Happy New Year to all!